Saturday, April 24, 2010

U for Universe

This was yet another of those letters where I couldn’t find anything to write about.
U for Uniforms? My sons’ obsession with drawing superheros? But it is costumes that they wear, not uniforms, isn’t it?
U for the Underworld? But that is something I know next to nothing about- the Mario Puzo variety, and the one that Osirus presides over!
U for Underground? I would have loved to write about possible solutions to the mass transportation problem in my city, but considering the city is only inches above the high tide mark, no solution can take place Underground.
U for YouTube? Not only would that be cheating, I am a total newbie to the site, and would have nothing to contribute.
U for Umbrella? I could write about the fun of splashing through puddles with nothing with a brightly coloured umbrella protecting me from getting drenched. But wouldn’t it make more sense to do that post AFTER the monsoons start?

I was no closer to finding a word for the letter, when I logged onto google and found this –
Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Hubble Space telescope. I had my U-post. “U for Universe”.

I had just taken my school-leaving exams when the Hubble Telescope was shot into space. And in the months between leaving school and starting college, the Hubble Space Telescope became almost an obsession. Those were the days before the Internet and when you had only one channel on TV, so news was hard to come by. But I still managed to devour every tiny snippet of news that came out. I remember cheering when the Telescope was finally shot into space, and I remember groaning in despair when we got the news that one of the mirrors were not functioning, which would adversely affect the quality of images the telescope could pick up.
Somewhere along the line, I lost interest in the Hubble Telescope. I was vaguely aware of the fact that NASA had spent an awesome amount of time and effort in repairing the non-functioning mirror, and the spirit soared whenever I got to see some of the images sent back by the telescope. But I no longer followed the progress of Hubble in quite the breathless way in which I used to do.

Here are just some of the images that the Hubble Space Telescope sent back over the years.

NGC 2818, a planetary nebula

Individual stars at the centre of the globular cluster, Omega Centuri.
NGC 3603, an open star cluster
Whirlpool Galaxy, a face on spiral galaxy much like our own

Is it even possible not to be awed by the immense beauty of the Universe? And when you are in touch with the Universe, do you feel humbled because you are so insignificant in the larger scheme of things, or do you feel a surge of power because you realise that you are an intrinsic part of something so Grand?


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Wow what amazing photos. They look like something out of a science fiction movie. I especially like the last one. It reminds me of veins. How beautiful.


What an amazing post considering you didn't know what to write about.
The pictures are superb as the reading of it is.
I hope you enjoy your week-end.


slommler said...

Fabulous photos and a wonderful reminder of the beauty and power of our universe! It makes me feel small and insignificant; but on the other hand, I feel special as I am part of a grand plan! To know that I am surrounded by such beauty is awe-inspiring!! Thanks for the reminder.

Sorcerer said...

yes! The images released by NASA always makes me wonder..its soo amazing with color and clarity.


I hope the hubble soon finds another blue planet, else we gonna have a tough time.

Anonymous said...

Space pictures are so utterly captivating - I'm happy I stopped by today. You picked the perfect U.

Mason Canyon said...

Very amazing photos. U for universe is perfect.

Thoughts in Progress

Ellie said...

Great post; I am humbled and awed by all the mysteries of the Universe! Beautiful pics!
You U post is going to be hard to beat.

Fun U post~

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The Hubble telescope has changed our view of the universe so much! Has it been 20 years already? Amazing!

Lisa said...

Goodness gracious what amazing photos! I am humbled to the core to be a part of something so grand -- and always stand in awe of the Creator of it all!

Joy said...

How can I not be totally amazed that all of that is out there and that I'm so insignificant in comparison. I don't think I'll ever be able to wrap my head around what man has been able to do through science.

Raquel Byrnes said...

THose images were amazingly beautiful! Thank you for sharing them. I had no idea Hubble had been out there so long.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Images are incredible. Thanks for reminding us about this anniversary.

Velvet Over Steel said...

Great post and blog! I didn't realize that either. Kind of makes me feel old... 'sigh' :-)
Found you through Yvonne. She is one of my blogging angels! :-) Following and will be back often!

Grammy said...

I love the images, and it reminds me of what David said in the Psalms, "Consider the heavens, the works of thy hands..." I am awed when I look up into the sky and consider all the space out there and how God created it out of nothingness.
How very great He is!
An awesome post today.

Wanda said...

That's some awesome photos.

R. M. Iyer said...

@ Jessica - they are breathtaking, aren't they? Definitely like a science fiction movie - after all that is where they get their idea from

@ Yvonne - thank you. I could as well have done a post without any words, so beautiful are the photographs

@ SueAnn - exactly. You are an insignificant speck, but as a part of something so grand, you are grand too. Nothing like the Universe

@ Sorcerer - they are amazing, aren't they? And thanks for stopping by.

@ insidethewritersstudio - thanks for stopping by. Yes, they are absolutely captivating, aren't they?

@ Mason Canyon - thank you

@ Ellie - the Universe is impossible to beat!!!

@ Debra - I did not believe it myself. Seems like just a couple of years back, doesn't it?

@ Lisa - I often tell myself I discovered religion the day I discovered the Universe.

@ Joy - and yet, the fact that you are amazed by creation, and you are an intrinsic part of it makes you as awesome as all creation

@ Raquel - shows we are perhaps a little older than we like to think we are ;-)

@ Alex - I expected a U for the Universe from you too.

@ Coreen - thanks for dropping by. And we are starting to get to an age which we thought was "old" at the time the Hubble telescope was shot into space. Humbling thought that
April 25, 2010 6:16 AM

@ Ruby - it is hard to see these images and not be awed by all creation

@ Wanda - awesome is the only word to describe them

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those are such incredible photographs. Don't we wish we'd taken them ourselves? :) I took a physics class in college that was all astronomy and have been fascinated by new discoveries ever since. Lovely post!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Patricia - I am seriously thinking of printing a few of them out for my bedroom wall. Awesome, isn't it?


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